It’s not as if Mark Halperin hadn’t been warned not to trust the Obama White House on Jonathan Gruber, he admitted today on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Republicans on Capitol Hill repeatedly told the Time reporter that Gruber had played a far more extensive role in ObamaCare than Barack Obama or the White House would admit, but Halperin believed the denials instead. “I owe my Republican sources an apology,” Halperin replied when pressed by Joe Scarborough on whether the President lied, “because they kept telling me he was hugely involved and the White House played it down. They were right.”
But did Obama and the White House lie? Neither Halperin, Howard Dean, nor Harold Ford will make that call, relying on euphemisms instead:
Hilarious! All three say that the White House was “not fully forthcoming,” telling it as a joke (although in fairness, Halperin’s use was more of a satirical understatement). Let’s recall why the White House was “not fully forthcoming” about Gruber. In a series of videos, Gruber claimed that the ObamaCare development process was deliberately set up to defeat transparency, and that Obama and the Democrats relied on “the stupidity of the American voter” to push it across the finish line. To discredit these arguments — as well as Gruber’s explicit contradiction of their King v Burwell argument — Obama himself told the press that Gruber was just “some adviser” only tangentially linked to the effort. This is the lie that the Morning Joe panel seems to find hilarious in retrospect.
Give Mika Brzezinski credit. She seems to be spending the entire segment shaking her head in disbelief, and when Scarborough asks her whether the White House lied, she erupts, “It certainly appears they did!” She doesn’t find lying to cover up contempt for American voters as amusing as Ford and Dean do, apparently. We’ll see how the rest of the media laughs this off.